Friday, September 10, 2010

Fall TV Preview 2010: The Cable Edition

So, several days ago, I tweeted this.

And it is sadly true that the middle of September is nearly upon us and I haven't even begun researching network Web sites or buying TV Guide or wondering when the Entertainment Weekly Fall TV preview issue would be hitting the mailbox. (Well, that last one is actually true . . . but I am trying to not rely on other people's journalism so much that I don't have any reason to do this stuff myself . . . )

So . . . anyway, I realized that the Fall TV season is rapidly approaching and I really need to get to work on my annual Fall TV Preview posts. (It is the ONLY regular tradition of this six-year-old blog after all.) And then my colleague Hapless23 expressed that he actually liked my TV Preview posts.

Now, nothing motivates me more than flattery . . . and the weekend is finally upon us . . . and I'm pretty tired of doing, thinking, worrying, and dreaming about the office. So, I am going to spend some time this weekend getting my TV ducks in a row and trying to get at least one post done for one network before Monday roles around again. (I don't anticipate doing any more than that, since . . . well . . . the office isn't going away and I will need to be spending some time on that stuff also.)

But YOU deserve my thoughts on TV.

And since he said he likes it, Hapless is going to get some face time here on WWYG?! (So, the lesson is . . . when you flatter me, you get rewarded.) I am letting him guest blog the first of the Fall TV posts. And he's going to handle cable shows for me. I've never blogged on the cable shows in the past, mostly because cable wasn't quite the phenomenon it is now back when Why Won't You Grow?! first launched. And, even in those carefree days . . . I just didn't devote the time and effort to teasing my way through all of the cable network variety. But now that Hapless has offered to handle it for me . . . well, why should I have to?

So . . . with no more preamble, I'm going to stop my typing and cut-and-paste his Cable TV Overview for 2010.

Take it away, Hapless! (And thanks for the help.)

*****
Every year I eagerly await David’s preview of the upcoming TV season. Because he only does the upcoming broadcast schedule--and because my blog is long dead--I cajoled him into letting me preview the best of cable. Because he hasn’t previewed cable before I will be liberal about what I include. Without further ado here we go (alphabetical by channel):

AMC:

The Walking Dead: A gory looking adaptation of a popular graphic novel about a Zombie infestation in Atlanta, Georgia. Shirtless is excited about it. I’m going to give it a shot. Premieres Oct 31

Mad Men: John Hamm and Elizabeth Moss have been on fire this season. Christina Hendricks is an attractive lady and darn fine actress to boot (Plus, Firefly alum!) Ongoing

Rubicon: I don’t know what this show is about. It’s on after Mad Men and one of my friends likes it. Sorry, I can only watch so much TV. Ongoing

AMC Show that isn’t a Fall show that you should watch anyways: Breaking Bad: Bryan Cranston has cancer and manufactures meth. His brother-in-law is a DEA agent. Hi-jinks ensue. Put it on your Netflix queue and so you can be caught up when it comes back in June.

BBC America:

Top Gear: I got David to watch this, but now you should too! 3 Brits: a short guy, a tall overweight jingoist and a classically trained pianist do things with cars.

Luther: Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire, also Michael's replacement on the Office when Michael started the Michael Scott Paper Company) stars in a physiological thriller. I have no idea if it will be good, but Idris Elba is amazing.

Bravo:

Top Chef, Top Chef: Just Deserts: 1 episode left till the Season Finale. Personally I don’t understand cooking shows. If I can’t taste it how can I tell if its good? Ongoing/Premieres soon

The Search for the Next Great Artist: This show was surprisingly enjoyable. Plus you can judge the art for yourself.

Cartoon Network:

Venture Brothers: Take Johnny Quest, age him 40 years after his adult life turns out a failure. Give him two dumb but enthusiastic children. Enjoy! Returns September 12

Children’s Hospital: This was originally a web-only series done by Rob Corddry. It’s bizarre in a good way. Ongoing

Comedy Central:

Big Lake: This show is almost good, but it’s really not at all. It’s missing something, but I couldn’t tell you what it is. It has a laugh track, so that doesn’t help. Ongoing

South Park: If you don’t know what this is or whether you like it or not, you probably shouldn’t be reading this. Returns October 6

Tosh.0: Daniel Tosh makes fun of clips on the Internet. If you like Internet memes and Daniel Tosh this show is for you. Must be able to handle images of puke. Ongoing

Discovery Channel:

Mythbusters: 2 guys bust myths. Also: Explosions Returns next week, I believe

Dirty Jobs: Former Opera singer goes around and does dirty jobs. Over time the jobs have become less dirty. Mike Rowe’s voice alone makes this show worth watching. Ongoing

Direct TV:

Friday Night Lights: This will appear on ABC at some point. I stopped watching after the second season made a few questionable character choices, but from everything I’ve read its rectified its mistakes and is as good as ever. Even if you could care less about High School football give it a chance, it’s a stunningly well crafted series, and Kyle Chandler is fantastic. Returns October 27

ESPN:

30 on 30: A series of short films on a sports-related topics chosen by famous filmmakers. Bill Simmons masterminded it. I haven’t watched it but David has. Ask him. [I agree that it is interesting and variety-filled. But I am a Bill Simmons fanboy, so . . . take that for what you think it is worth.--DTM] Ongoing

FX:

Terriers: It’s about two somewhat competent small time detectives. It looks pretty good, and is getting favorable press. So maybe check it out? Premiered September 8

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Do you like watching horrible people do horrible things to each other in the most hilariously offensive fashion possible? Then this show is for you. If you don’t like these things, I’m sorry, I can’t be your friend anymore. Also, it has Danny Devito, that’s got to be worth something, right? Returns September 16

The League: I only started watching this show late into its first season because, honestly a show about people playing fantasy football sounded terrible. Even the commercials being voiced by Space Ghost couldn’t hook me. It turns out this show is very funny. It’s worth a look if you like to laugh. Returns September 16

Sons of Anarchy: Critics say this show ranks up there with Breaking Bad and Mad Men. That should be enough for you people. (I haven’t watched it but it’s in my instaqueue, so next season I will be ready to give a fuller review.) [So, you are already assuming that you've got next year's writing slot wrapped up, huh? I like your moxie, kid . . . but don't get cocky! --DTMReturned September 8

FX Shows that aren’t fall shows but should be on your radar because of how good they are: Archer (H. Jon Benjamin and about half the cast of Arrested Development are cartoon spies), Justified (Timothy Oliphant is a trigger happy lawman), Louie (Louis CK does stand up and short sketches. Sometimes brutally funny, sometimes poignant, always good), Rescue Me (Shirtless says this show is good. I hear the latest season was not, but it’s only got one more season left, so give it a shot then or never)

HBO:

Boardwalk Empire: I don’t have HBO anymore, but I wish I did, because this show looks great. Steve Buscemi is the boss of prohibition era Atlantic City. Do I need to say more? Yes? Look, HBO knows how to do period dramas (Deadwood) and has the budget to do it well. You should watch it if you have premium cable. Premieres September 19

Eastbound and Down: This show gets lots of good press. I found it largely too uncomfortable to be enjoyable. Your mileage may vary. Returns September 26

Bored to Death: The title of this show was far too accurate for me. I still watched the entire season, so make of that what you will. Returns September 26

IFC:

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret: David Cross and Will Arnett star in this show. If you don’t watch Archer maybe you can get your Arrested Development fix this way? It looks better than Running Wilde. Premieres October 1

Lifetime:

Project Runway: This season is delightful if you like malapropisms and people who lack self-awareness. Ongoing

Showtime:

Dexter: This series kind of lost me after season 2, but John Lithgow was fantastic last season and it ended on a high note, so maybe it has life in it yet. Returns September 26

The Big C: From the reviews of this show, I am forced to conclude it is American Beauty but as a TV show and with a woman lead.

SyFy:

Ghost Hunters/Destination Truth: Do you like paranormal stuff with reasonably charismatic hosts? These are the shows for you. Personally I think its hokum, but they have fun toys, so I’m in. Ongoing/returns soon

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